Your kids’ baby teeth are very important.
They might be pint-sized, but your kids’ teeth are more important than you may realize. These first teeth play a major role in the healthy development of their permanent teeth, so it’s important to learn as much about them as you can.
Today, we’re sharing 10 facts about kids’ teeth to keep in mind as you brush and floss their tiny pearly whites! From the silly to the serious, you’ll want to keep these in mind as they grow.
1. Babies are born with teeth.
Your little one might have an adorable, gummy grin, but don’t let that smooth exterior fool you. Hidden underneath is a full set of baby teeth!
While they won’t erupt from their gums until they’re about six months old, these teeth are all there, including 10 in their upper jaw and 10 in their bottom jaw. By the time they’re 3, most children will have their full set of baby teeth. These Baby Teeth Eruption Charts can help you monitor when each one should erupt.
2. Your kids’ teeth are the hardest substances in their body.
They might be able to throw a mean elbow when they’re rough-housing, but even your kid’s joints aren’t as hard as their teeth.
In fact, even when they’re small, their tooth enamel is still the strongest substance in their body. This is another reason why it’s important to keep them clean and healthy from the very beginning.
3. Baby teeth still need brushing and flossing.
Baby teeth are little, but they should not be ignored.
While your baby is an infant, you can rub their gums with a clean cloth after each feeding to cleanse them and keep bacteria at bay. Then, as soon as that first tooth erupts, you can start brushing it gently with a baby toothbrush and baby toothpaste with fluoride (about the size of a grain of rice).
Once their teeth are close enough to touch, you can also gently floss around them to remove excess plaque and food. This practice helps set the stage for a lifetime of healthy dental habits!
4. You have 20 baby teeth but up to 32 permanent teeth.
Wait a minute. Didn’t we just say that babies are born with a full set of teeth?
While that’s true, there are other permanent teeth to take into account. For instance, your child will first develop a set of permanent molars when they’re around the age of 6 or 7. These molars will appear in empty spaces at the back of their jaw and will not replace any baby teeth.
Then, around 12 to 13 years of age, they’ll develop their second set of molars, which will bring them to a total of 28 teeth. If your child develops wisdom teeth in their late teens or early 20s, they can have up to 32 teeth.
5. Facts about kids’ teeth: they’re unique.
Your baby might share your smile or your dimples, but their teeth are all their own!
Just like fingerprints, our teeth are completely unique and no two people have the exact same set. This even applies to identical twins. In addition, all children have their own tongue prints and no two are alike.
6. Baby teeth affect adult teeth placement.
Did you know that your baby’s adult teeth will be affected by the way their baby teeth grow in?
If your little one loses a baby tooth too early, the permanent teeth can begin to drift into that empty space. In turn, this can crowd other adult teeth as they come in, leading to a crowded or crooked appearance. Taking great care of your child’s teeth can help prevent early decay and ensure they follow a healthy, routine teething schedule.
7. Your child should visit the dentist by their first birthday.
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that all children visit the dentist as soon as their first tooth comes in, or by the time they turn 1.
If you’re already used to taking your baby to well-child checkups at the pediatrician, consider a pediatric dental visit to be along the same lines! This first visit gives our team a chance to get to know your child, check for any early issues, and show you how to clean their teeth and gums properly as they grow.
8. Baby teeth affect permanent bite.
What is another issue that can occur if your child loses a baby tooth too early? The crowding that occurs could permanently alter their bite.
In addition to premature tooth loss, other issues that can lead to malocclusion or misalignment include thumb sucking, tongue thrusting, or prolonged pacifier use. Your pediatric dentist can help identify any potential bite problems and advise you on ways to correct them.
9. Some babies are born with teeth showing.
Most kids won’t get their first teeth until months after they’re born, but this isn’t the case for all babies. Some are born with what’s called “natal teeth.”
While this only occurs in about one out of every 2,000 births, it’s a condition that does have some common factors. For instance, natal teeth are more common in children with cleft lips or palates, as well as those with dentin irregularities.
10. Top-notch oral care is critical.
We can’t overestimate the importance of excellent oral care from the very beginning of your child’s life. From teething to wisdom teeth and every step in between, there’s incredible value in finding the right pediatric dental team as early as possible.
Your dentist can help you identify issues before they occur, and can be an important partner in keeping your child’s teeth clean and healthy.
Visit our family practice today.
These facts about kids’ teeth reveal just how important these baby biters really are! Not only are they unique and super strong, but they’re also critical placeholders for permanent teeth and can affect the way their bite operates for life.
That’s why our family is here to serve yours. In addition to cosmetic, restorative, preventative and general dentistry services, we also offer pediatric and children’s dental services for our littlest patients. Contact us today to learn more or schedule an appointment.